The painting which had been stolen 20 years ago from a Saudi sheikh’s yacht, has been traced by Arthur Brand, a prominent Dutch art detective.
The painting represents Dora Maar or Theodora Markovitch, a renowned photographer and artist who was a lover and muse of Picasso, and is titled Buste de Femme. It was painted in 1938 and is worth approximately 25 million Euros. For years it was circulated and used as a collateral in illegal activities.
Mr Brand first heard about the painting in the Netherlands in 2015 and started searching for it. He found out which painting it was and once he knew exactly what he was looking for he started looking for potential buyers. He finally located it after several appeals, when representatives of a Dutch businessman who had bought the painting, thinking it was legitimately acquired, contacted him. Once the owner realised the painting was stolen he was no longer interested in keeping it and sent it to Mr Brand.
Mr Brand took the painting to his flat in Amsterdam and contacted the police and an insurance company hoping the painting will be returned to its owner. The police said no further action will be taken as the painting has been returned and the statute of limitations had expired.
Mr Brand is known in the art world as the Indiana Jones of art, retrieving valuable art items stolen from their original owners, such as a Byzantine mosaic of Saint Mark stolen from a church in Cyprus in the 1970s which he found last year or two bronze statues by Nazi sculptor Joseph Thorak in 2015.